Managing Staff Amidst The Current Labour Shortage

Updated: May 30

After all that businesses have had to go through due to closed borders shutting out skilled workers, now record levels of inflation and a higher cost of living mean that skilled workers who can afford to, are leaving their jobs to find higher salaries, either here or over in Australia. And whilst these are difficult times, there are still steps that you can take to navigate this next hurdle so that you can attract the right talent and retain your current staff, whilst paying the right salaries.

Increase Productivity and Make Cuts Where Needed With skilled workers looking to move to jobs which pay more highly, ensuring you can afford these salaries is critical. If you can’t afford higher wages easily then it is important to take a step back and look to see where you boost productivity and if necessary where you have to make cuts. Are you spending money on a product or service which isn’t yielding high results? Instead of spreading your services too thinly, look for where you get the best results and focus on more profitable locations, products or services. Are you spending money on a product or service which isn’t yielding high results? It could make more sense to cut that, even if temporarily, and direct the money saved into wages and competitive benefit packages.

Invest in Your Staff You might be reluctant to invest in your staff for fear that they will then take their talents elsewhere, but chances are if you don’t invest in them, then they will just as likely leave for a company that will invest in them and help them to progress. By investing in training and upskilling your current staff you are boosting their morale (a win for them) which in turn boosts productivity (a win for you) and is likely to reduce staff turnover, which ensures you retain top talent and don’t have to spend on the hiring process.

Create an Environment That Your Staff Want To Be In

Although paying a higher wage is paramount in attracting the right talent, it is not the only consideration you need to take into account. Creating the right environment is equally as important in retaining your staff. It’s time to really focus on what your staff need and to make them feel valued. Arguably the most important aspect is addressing work-life balance. Are you losing staff or not attracting great workers because you won’t offer flexible or part-time working? Does your work have to be carried out in an office or can you help employees reduce their fuel bills by letting them work from home when they want to?

There are so many ways to help employees feel valued, it could be anything from a stocked fridge in the office so that they can grab breakfast when they come in, to helping to buy tools for new tradies. Celebrate the successes of your team and recognise milestones such as birthdays or sponsored events. It’s also worth looking at whether you’re currently spending in areas that aren’t necessarily benefitting your employees even if they seem novel or fun, chances are your staff would rather that money was spent on them in the form of grocery vouchers or towards a bonus.


Change How You Hire

When it comes to job applications many applicants are often discouraged by the list of ‘must-have’ qualities if they don’t tick all the boxes. Of course there are some jobs which will require candidates to have specific skills which are non-negotiable, but where you can, why not change it to: ‘must-haves’ and ‘would be good to have’? Alternatively you could employ a candidate who might not tick every box but who has a great attitude, transferable skills and who can be trained up within your company.


It’s also worth thinking about where you are finding candidates. Are you making the most of networking sites like LinkedIn? Can you offer a referral bonus if your employee refers someone for the role who ends up being hired? Do you need someone immediately or are you better to have an ongoing recruitment policy so you have a wider pool that you identify when the right person comes along rather than just those in the market at the time for a short recruitment timeframe


At Grace Team Accountanting, we offer a range of services alongside our stock accountancy services including business coaching and planning. If you would like us to assist you in setting goals and focusing on key targets so that your business can be as profitable as possible, get in touch by contacting 07 578 5416

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